The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has confiscated 125 metric tons of smuggled garlic from China at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) worth more than P37 million.
According to the BOC, the cargo was placed inside five 40-foot refrigerated container vans that arrived in the country without a Sanity and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) Import Clearance from the Department of Agriculture (DA).
It said the shipment from Jining Shuntianli Import and Export Co. Ltd in Shandong, China, violated Presidential Decree 1433, under which “traders who wish to import agricultural products must first secure permits from the DA.”
The shipment arrived in the country in two separate batches last June 12, 2014 and was said to have been consigned to MC Jayson International Trading.
In a letter to the BOC dated July 3, 2014, Managing Director Lito Caraecle of MC Jayson, however, denied importing the garlic.
Customs Commissioner John Sevilla on Friday said the bureau will not condone any illegal entry of products as it hurts the local market.
“While we are well aware that local production of garlic is not enough to meet the demand, we will not condone the illegal entry of the product,” Sevilla added.
Meanwhile, MICP District Collector Elmir dela Cruz has impounded nineteen 40-foot container vans of garlic.
Dela Cruz said the containers arrived in the country in seven separate shipments from May 29 to June 24, 2014.
“Two of the shipments have been flagged by the Bureau of Plant Industry because these do not have any SPS Import Clearance,” the BOC said.